An alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test is a blood test used to measure the level of ALT in the blood. ALT is an enzyme that is found primarily in the liver, and elevated levels of ALT in the blood can be a sign of liver damage or disease. Here are some reasons why you might need an ALT test:
Liver disease: An ALT test is often used to screen for liver disease, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis. Elevated levels of ALT in the blood can be an early sign of liver damage or disease, and the test can be used to monitor the progression of the disease and the effectiveness of treatment.
Medication monitoring: Certain medications, such as statins, can cause liver damage in some people. An ALT test can be used to monitor liver function in people taking these medications to ensure that liver damage is not occurring.
Alcohol use: Heavy alcohol use can cause liver damage and an elevated level of ALT in the blood. An ALT test can be used to monitor liver function in people who consume alcohol regularly.
Other medical conditions: Elevated levels of ALT can also be seen in other medical conditions, such as certain types of cancer, heart disease, or metabolic disorders. An ALT test can be used to help diagnose these conditions and monitor their progression.